Exhibition “Creation of Body Image”: Tradition, Medicine, and Art in the Age of Infectious Disease


Since ancient times, people have had a strong interest in the body and have created various pictures and iconography to expand their image.

This exhibition focuses on materials from the collection of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (IRJC) and is divided into four sections: “Epidemics and Medicine,” “Understanding the Body,” “Interest in the Body,” and “The Body Today and in the Future. The exhibition is divided into four themes: “Epidemics and Medicine,” “Understanding the Body,” “The Body in the Present and Future,” and “The Body in the Future. We will trace various images of the body in a wide range of fields, including folklore, medicine, and art. The exhibition will explore hints for living in the future in this age of contemporary infection.


Dates: January 17 (Monday) – February 12 (Saturday), 2022

Hours: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Admission until 4:00 p.m.)

     Closed on Sundays and national holidays

Venue: Taikaneyama Museum of History, Osaka University *Free admission

Organizers: Osaka University Museum of Arts / International Research Center for Japanese Studies

<Exhibition Structure>

Zone 1: Epidemics and Medicine

Infectious Diseases and Modern Medicine: “COVID-19: Vaccine Development at Osaka University

Epidemic: “Varicella Doctor’s License

Spell to ward off plague: “Measles Spell Teaching Treasure

Varicella: Jenner’s Studies on the Causes and Effects of Cowpox

Prevention of Plague: “Illustrated Guide to Preventing Tiger Stinging Disease”.

Zone2 Understanding the body

Internal Structure of the Body: “Five Organs and Six Fungus Diagram

Reading the face: “Guanxiang

Reading the body: “Acupuncture and Moxibustion Copper Doll

Copying anatomical texts: “Illustrations of the internal and external parts of the body”.

Zone3 Interest in the body

Expressions of various parts of the body: “Hunmeng Zuoji”.

Exaggeration of body parts: “Shinpan Bakkesha Jin”.

Expansion of the body: “MIKAGYO NOSHO HIKIFUDA

The body in the other world: “Jigoku-e

Spreading knowledge: “Eiri niyou onna jyuhouki

Zone4 The body of today and the future

Expanding the “eyes” of medicine: Visualizing the fetus: Ultrasound diagnostic equipment

Expanding the “Eye” of Medicine: Quantifying Symptoms: “Dementia Diagnostic Imaging Sample

Rethinking Gender Differences: 29 Gender Symbols

Expanding Recognition: The Possibility of Cognition: Pareidolia

Extension as Resistance: Infectious Diseases and Contemporary Art: “Document Version: Isolated Intensive Contact Room

Extension of the Body – Robots (Medical): “Surgical Support Robot

Human-Robot Interaction and the Body of the Future